Britain’s bank holiday weather brings out the crowds

Britain’s warm dry bank holiday weather has been bringing out the crowds all weekend, with today the hottest day of the year so far.

The British could be excused for viewing the clear skies and sunshine with caution, so unaccustomed are they to having a bank holiday free from the traditionally chilly and wet fare that usually accompanies the national holidays, but with temperatures in some parts of the country likely to reach 23 Celsius today, outdoing several Mediterranean countries, even the most sceptical Brits are heading out to find the best places to enjoy the welcome bonus.

The good weather is not entirely countrywide, with the eastern counties and London enjoying warmer temperatures and more hours of sunshine than those further west, while the north of England and Scotland are expected to remain overcast and showery. It was a similar picture yesterday, with Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire in the east enjoying the best temperatures of around 18 degrees Celsius.

The good weather will provide a much needed bonanza for the nation’s theme parks, coastal resorts and National Trust properties after the grim weather that they have suffered up until now this spring, but the Met office is already warning that the sunshine is not likely to last much beyond the holiday period. Less settled weather, overcast and possibly wet is on the cards for the remainder of this week.

Commenting on today’s weather, a Met office spokesman was quoted in the Daily Mail, saying,   ‘Temperatures will reach highs of 23C, possibly even 24C in some parts, which will make Monday the hottest day of the year so far. The current record this year is 23.1C on April 25.’

British Travellers Stay In UK for August Bank Holiday Weekend

The 2012 August Bank Holiday has seen around 43 percent of the UK’s population exploring more local destinations, says VisitEngland’s Bank Holiday Trip Tracker.

Around 3.6 million British holidaymakers have taken an overnight holiday trip in the UK during the ongoing August Bank Holiday weekend, with around 2.8 million of those visiting places in England.

Holidays within the UK are likely to generate around £800 million in tourism expenditure for the home economy, with around £600 million being spent in England. This is in comparison to around 1.8 million British travellers who headed overseas for the August Bank Holiday weekend, from August 24 to 27, as reported by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), a UK-based trade association.

Around 43 percent of British travellers commented that 2012’s super events, including the Diamond Jubilee, the Torch Relay, the Olympic games, and the approaching Paralympic Games, have rekindled their interest in exploring the UK.

James Berresford, the chief executive officer of VisitEngland, said, ‘It’s great news that almost 3 million people will be taking an overnight break in England over the August Bank Holiday; many of them having been inspired to get out and explore this beautiful country by the exciting events of this year.

Those waiting on the weather should remember that England is a fantastic all-weather destination, with a wealth of world-class attractions including many free galleries and museums across the country. This weekend is a huge opportunity for the industry to make the most of this surge of national pride, and encourage even more Brits to take the home advantage and take a holiday or day trip in England – whatever the weather.’

Brits Begin Exodus for August Bank Holiday

Around 1.8 million British travellers are expected to head overseas for the August Bank Holiday weekend, which runs from August 24 to 27, according to the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), a UK-based travel agency association.

While Spain is the most popular destination with British tourists, destinations in Turkey, the Greek Islands, as well as Egypt and Tunisia, have also attracted plenty of bookings for the coming weekend.

British travellers are also expecting to benefit from the strong pound against a weakening Euro, which at current rates is expected to increase their spending power by around 10 percent when compared to the same time last year.

Domestic tour operators are also reporting high demand for UK holiday destinations on the South Coast and South West, as well as the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey.

Mark Tanzer, the ABTA chief executive officer, said, ‘As always at the end of a major sporting event, many people are looking to head off for a break either at home or overseas. Spain and Greece continue to be popular with many holidaymakers taking advantage of the strong Pound, which is at a four year high against the Euro, as well as the fact that prices in bars and restaurants have come down.’

Airports are reporting that around 250,000 passengers are expected to fly out of London Gatwick, 124,000 passengers from London Stansted, and 68,500 from London Luton during the August holidays.

Eurostar, a UK-based high-speed rail service between the UK and mainland Europe, is reporting that around 60,000 passengers are expected to take the service to the European destinations of Paris, Amsterdam, Avignon, Lyon and Bruges, for the coming weekend.

Russians get four-day holiday… for gardening

Brits will be enjoying a long weekend in June thanks to the Queens Diamond Jubilee. And the extra long bank holiday break has caught on, Russia will also be getting a long weekend, thanks to in-coming president Vladimir Putin, to do gardening.

The ‘national staycation’ in Russia will take place from May 6th to May 9th, over Russia’s World War Two Victory Day, which is on May 9th.

Mr Putin’s inauguration falls on May 7th over the weekend ‘staycation’.

‘Many people want more holidays at this time, so that people could go to their allotments, their gardens,’ Mr Putin said, according to the government website.

Less in line with a focus on leisure time, Mr Putin adds: ‘I ask that production work (in heavy industry) is streamlined accordingly.’

The current prime minister recently won a return to the Russian presidency for a six-year term. But the election has been surrounded by controversy, with accusations that the election was slanted in his favour.

The opposition has said they will not recognise the results, in which Putin gained over 63 per cent of the vote.

Russia have been urged to launch an investigation by the European Union and the US over accusations of fraud in the voting system.

The result has seen many Russians protesting the election in demonstrations and large rallies have been organsied in Moscow.